I'm a complete newbie to automation testing. I am facing problems in the tools that i'm using for testing an iOS native application on iPad.

The tools that I have tried so far and the problems i'm facing with them are:

  1. MonkeyTalk:
    This tool works fine for me except the fact that it does not provide any functionality of getting a list of all the UI Components and their actual names (like getting ids, names as element locators on a web page when you inspect an element) This restricts me from using verification for existence of certain components while running a recorded script inspite of MonkeyTalk providing a command for verification. Also the iOS app on the simulator crashes a lot when used with MonkeyTalk.

  2. Frank:
    To resolve the above problem, I found that using Symbiote that ships along with Frank lets one get a list of all the UI components that we want. I tried setting up Frank into the XCode project but I got too many errors and problems while setting up Frank. The installation docs provided by various sources aren't really helpful. I had to give up this tool just because it was too frustrating and complex setting up the tool in the first place.

  3. TestStudio by Telerik
    This tool is new and I found it crashing on the iPad device on which it was installed.

I haven't yet tried XCode's UIAutomation framework. Is it possible to record a scenario with UIAutomation framework and also inspect UIcomponent types and names present on the app (like Firebug for web) so that I can use the component names for verifications / assertions in the script?

Could someone please suggest me any tool that would give me the facility of:

  1. Recording a scenario.
  2. Inspecting the UI components(labels,images) to get their component name and type for assertions/verifications

4 Answers 4


I'm currently building tests using the UI Automation tool found in Instruments. You can do both things that you are looking for. You can record tests and it allows you print the element tree and the names of those elements in the application. The tests are written in javascript and you can use the editor of your choice. When recording a test, the code will be displayed in the script editor in real time. I've also been using tuneup to make my assertions and organize my tests.

The UI Automation tool can be a little difficult at first, but it gets really easy to use as you go on. The Apple developer site has documentation on the tool and I see some blogs are now starting to write about the tool.

  • 1
    This tool: Calabash seemed a perfect choice for me along with UIAutomation. An advantage being that it is open source. I haven't completely explored the tool but I found it matching my requirements. Jul 12, 2012 at 7:55

I am running different test tools to check witch one is the best for me. So far i testet, Monkey Talk, KIF, Calabash and UI Automation from Apple. The easiest and best tool so far is the UIAutomation, it es very easy to use, has every thing i need so far. The only thing i miss is cross platform support. MonkeyTalk seems to be the closest to Automation but it hase some Bugs. Maybe you have some idea? I am testing a full native iOS App and a full native Android app. In the future maybe a full native iPad App. Cross platform testing themes to be a big Problem at the moment.

BR Hendrik

  • 1
    Cross platform support is provided by Calabash. And another advantage is that it is open source and uses natural language steps (Cucumber) as a wrapper above Ruby code that drives the app under test. The only small problem that I found with Calabash is it has a console based UIComponent inspection which at times gets really crammed up! Jul 12, 2012 at 14:49

I am not an expert, but SOASTA has got this - http://soasta.com/products/cloudtest-mobile/

Or MoneyTalk - (was FoneMonkey) - http://www.gorillalogic.com/testing-tools/monkeytalk

  • The first option, doesn't seem to be open source. The second one; i've already mentioned my problems with MonkeyTalk. Jul 5, 2012 at 9:33

Would it be fair to assess that you are building a Hybrid application (Native App surrounding Web Content)? This information could be useful in answering your question.

The reason I am asking is because of this statement you made:

names as element locators on a web page when you inspect an element

  • No. The application i have to test is only a native iOS application. I quoted that I want a tool that gives functionality to inspect native UI components which could be similar to inspecting UI elements on a web page. I hope i've made it clear now :) Jul 10, 2012 at 6:03

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